I didn’t get a lot of sleep going into Sunday morning, but when I did wake up, and on subsequent mornings, I keep thinking to myself ‘am I dreaming’?
When Sole Power scorched to victory in my mum Sabena’s colours in last Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes for the second year running, I was literally over the moon.
But the emotion I experienced when Slade Power emulated him in Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes was something I don’t think I’ll ever experience again and it was made even better by all the Power family, who are usually busy doing their own thing in different parts, being there.
A huge thanks goes to trainer Edward Lynam and jockeys Richard Hughes and Wayne Lordan and it was also absolutely brilliant to have Aileen, Edward’s wife, there this year as she missed Sole’s win last year after a dreadful gallops accident that left her with a fractured back and neck.
Both animals are now on target for the July Cup at Newmarket next month and I wouldn’t like to choose between the two at this stage. However, some judges are favouring Slade because it’s six furlongs, but Sole ran a cracker over that trip in Hong Kong against a wonder horse.
This Saturday it’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby day at The Curragh and I would urge anyone who can get there to make the effort as it’s always a great occasion. I tried to take on Australia in the English equivalent and was proved completely wrong by Aidan O’Brien’s charge and I think if he turns up at the weekend, he wins.
But I don’t want to tip up a long odds-on shot so instead I’m opting each-way for Godolphin’s True Story, who could only muster a seventh at Epsom despite the good going but I thought that he just didn’t handle the unique undulating track there.
You can only give a horse so many chances, but on his previous outing in the Dante Stakes at York in May, this Manduro colt really didn’t seem to enjoy the soft ground so there could be genuine excuses for his last two defeats.
My selection reportedly worked well over a mile when fitted with a visor for the first time last Saturday and given his preferred fast ground at the Kildare track, he might just make Australia work for his victory and certainly get a bit closer than the 10 lengths he was beaten before.
We sponsor the Paddy Power Scurry on the same card and I’m taking Andrew Oliver’s Shipyard at current odds of 12-1 to land this dash for the cash after his recent win at Navan.
That was the first time that the five-year-old had encountered fast ground and given a similar surface on Saturday, I think this speedball can go in again, especially as he was also highly competitive on softer terrain earlier in the season when twice finishing second. Connections have tried him over seven furlongs and a mile but I reckon six is his ideal trip.
My tipping up England to qualify from their World Cup group well and truly scuppered them last week so let’s hope I don’t ruin Holland as I go for them at 11-1 to win the tournament.
I’m writing this before my fancy play their crucial last game against Chile as if the Dutch can top the group, they’ll face Mexico or Croatia, which looks very winnable, before meeting Ivory Coast or Costa Rica in the quarters which any team would have taken at the start.
If Chile master the group, the 11-1 won’t look huge as Holland will probably have to topple Brazil and then Colombia or Italy, but it’s too big otherwise.
Now: Holland to win the World Cup
Saturday 4.15pm: The Curragh Shipyard
Saturday 5.30pm: The Curragh True Story each-way